Golf had a huge resurgence in popularity a couple of years ago when the pandemic was at its height. Today, support for the sport remains strong with over 66 million players worldwide. However, not everyone has easy access to golf courses.
Is there a way to play golf in a more accessible setting? Can you take a couple of swings and land a hole-in-one in the comfort of your home? This is now possible thanks to the advancement of virtual technology, specifically in the area of golf simulation. Read on to learn more about golf simulation and the best golf simulators available in the market.
Defining Golf Simulation
Golf simulation refers to the digital replication of golf courses and mechanics using electronic devices. Modern golf simulators carry both high-tech hardware and intuitive software that enable you to get a realistic golfing experience indoors.
These simulators should not be confused with the golf games you or your children play on Xbox or PlayStation. While these game consoles have golf titles in their libraries, they lack the depth and immersion that a competent golf simulator can deliver. Moreover, these simulators don’t use the same peripherals or game controllers as traditional consoles or gaming PCs.
If using a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad no longer satisfies your indoor golf cravings, it’s time to upgrade and step up your game with a golf simulator.
Golf Simulator Essentials and Accessories
Setting up a golf simulator is not as simple as firing up a Nintendo Switch. There are several things you need to prepare and accessories you need to have.
The first thing you’ll need is an extra space to accommodate your entire home golf setup. A typical golf simulator needs an empty space that is 12 feet long, 10 feet wide, and nine feet high. To get a better central aim, 15 feet of width is recommended. Of course, more space may be needed depending on the size of your components.
Speaking of components, you’ll need a launch monitor, projector, hitting mat, simulator screen or net, a computer or laptop with competent computing and graphical capabilities, and a golf simulation software subscription. Don’t forget your golf club too. Optional accessories include a golf ball bat, simulator screen net, and indoor putting green.
Shopping for all these essentials and accessories can be time-consuming and expensive. You may look for simulator packages with included accessories, but these often cost a premium as well. Regardless, once you’ve completed your setup, all the money and time you spent looking for the right simulator and components will be worth it.
What Golf Simulator Should You Get?
There are many golf simulators on the market with diverse features and at different price points. This can make choosing difficult and confusing. Aside from your budget, there are several considerations you must account for before making a purchase. To narrow down the list, here are some of the best golf simulators that are sure to provide a satisfying golfing experience.
1. Phigolf Home Golf Simulator
Currently retailing for less than $180, the Phigolf Home Golf Simulator is the best budget option. It even comes with a weighted training stick that is compact in size. This will allow you to make full swings even on relatively smaller spaces.
The simulator also has an onboard sensor that easily connects at the base of the swing stick. You can also insert it into the end of real golf clubs. To access the interface and controls, you’ll have to download the Phigolf app and pair the sensor via Bluetooth to either your computer or smartphone.
From there, you can access 76 virtual golf courses. The sensor can analyze your swings and putting posture. It will give you live 3D feedback on areas such as head speed, club path, swing tempo, attack angle, and other metrics.
2. TruGolf Vista 10 Golf Simulator Base Model
If you’re willing to pay more for an advanced and full-package simulator, you should consider the TruGolf Vista 10 Golf Simulator. For around $15,000, you get premium fairway turf, a deep enclosure, and the highly precise TruTrack2 sensor system.
The package also includes other essentials such as a high-definition Vista projector, an impact screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a 21” monitor with touchscreen support, a one-year E6 Connect subscription, and a one-year warranty. If these are not enough for you, there’s also a pro model that has an extended subscription and more accessories like side nets and a portable speaker.
The highlights of this simulator are the TruTrack 2 system and the E6 Golf Connect application. Using three optical sensors, TruTrack 2 captures critical swing data instantaneously and measures club path and clubface angle. Meanwhile, E6 Golf Connect offers 27 highly detailed golf courses set at high resolutions. This golf software also allows you to play online and compete in casual matchups with your friends or in more competitive virtual leagues.
3. SkyTrak SIG10 Golf Simulator Package
If you’re looking for a popular simulation system that’s below $10,000 the SkyTrak SIG10 Golf Simulator Package is for you. You will really get your money’s worth since this package is filled to the brim with components and accessories.
First, you get the essentials. The SkyTrak Golf launch monitor delivers accurate measurements of your launch angle, back spin, carry distance, and other metrics. To protect the system, you also get a metal protective case that offers adequate adjustability and access to essential buttons and LEDs. Lastly, there’s the Play & Improve software that lets you play on a dozen world-famous golf courses and offers a plethora of modes and assessment features.
Moreover, you get a golf simulator projector, enclosure, side barrier netting, landing pad turf, hitting mat, and ceiling mount. You don’t even have to worry about cables since an HDM, HDMI to lightning, and micro-USB charging cables are also included.
4. Trackman Golf Simulator
Regarded by many players as the best golf simulator, the Trackman Golf Simulator is an awesome system. It has a hefty $45,500 starting price tag, which may make this simulator inaccessible to some people. However, it’s still worth it to get the Trackman Golf Simulator considering how few simulators can match it in terms of performance.
This simulator features the TrackMan 4 launch monitor. Its hardware and integrated software use both radar and multi-camera sensors to provide highly accurate swing analysis and ball movement tracking. The data tracking and analysis offered by the Trackman is so precise that even world-renowned golf players use this platform to hone their skills.
The system also displays high-resolution and graphically detailed recreations of over 30 popular golf courses. To maximize space and ensure that you have an adequate swing area, the enclosure is also tailor-made to the dimensions of your residential or commercial space.
5. aboutGOLF Curve Simulator
Do you have a lot of disposable income and want the most immersive golf simulation experience? If so, there’s no better choice than the aboutGOLF Curve Simulator. At a whopping starting price of almost $70,000, this simulator makes the Trackman Golf Simulator look budget-friendly
However, what makes the aboutGOLF Curve Simulator special is its 180-degree curved display that will envelop you in an almost life-like golf setting. The surreal experience this display offers is unmatched even by the finest flat panels.
Also included in the package is an HD projector that can display up to 4K resolution, a custom-fit enclosure, a 23” touchscreen monitor, a turf system, and the 3Trak Ball and Club tracking system. 3Trak is an advanced tracking system that captures several images of your swing. Using machine vision technology, it provides accurate club and ball analysis.
Whether you want to practice your swings at home or just want to unwind, aboutGOLF’s immersive simulator will not disappoint.
6. Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
As technology advances, people are able to miniaturize previously bulky systems. Golf simulators are no exception. The Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor delivers exactly what its name suggests — a mobile golfing system that fits in your pocket.
For less than $400, you get a lite golf simulator that offers quick video replay and an active shot tracker. Moreover, this mobile launch monitor offers respectable Trackman-level accuracy in measuring data such as distance, ball speed, launch angle, smash factor, and club speed. It likewise provides helpful statistics and tips to help you improve. As for what’s included in the box, you get the launch monitor, a carrying case, a charging cable, and a quick start guide.
Aside from its limited functionality, a downside to this golf simulator is that it only pairs with iOs devices, so you’re out of luck if you’re using a different operating system like Android. However, if you’re an iPhone or iPad user and want to play virtual golf on the go, Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor is worth looking into.
7. SwingLogic SLX MicroSim
If you’re looking for an affordable and simple golf simulator that you and your kids can enjoy, check out the SwingLogic SLX MicroSIm. For the low price of $219, you get an entry-level yet sensor-based golf simulator that can assess and record your swing data.
This simulator works well with two applications. The first is the E6 Simulation software, which allows you to virtually project five golf courses. The other program is the SLX Connect App. This application facilitates a smoother simulation experience and allows you to store your shot data in the company’s dedicated cloud server for free.
The package includes a 3D Micro Sensor that’s responsible for capturing and tracking your swing and shot data. There’s also a telescoping SwingStick that creates a “click” sound to mimic real-life ball contact. Moreover, you get four club mounts inside an accessories bag.
8. SkyTrak Flex Space Golf Simulator Package
Do you want an indoor golf simulator that gives you a wide room to move and angle your shots? If so, then try out the SkyTrak Flex Space Golf Simulator Package.
The included SkyTrak Launch Monitor can be completely retracted. You can set it up in your garage and maximize the bigger space. After you’re done playing, just retract the monitor to bring back your garage to its original state. Moreover, the screen is wireless, so you wouldn’t have to worry about cable clutter.
Aside from the launch monitor, you also get a protective case, a ceiling mount kit, a Full HD short throw projector, a floor mount enclosure, a SIGPRO turf mat, and the SkyTrak Game Improvement Software. This software provides accurate swing and shot measurements and pairs well with iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
The entire package will cost about $6,500. Given this simulator’s features, that’s a pretty good deal.
Golf simulators are great if you want to play indoors or have more ways to practice your swings. Before buying a simulator, you have to consider more than the price of the package. You also have to account for software features, included accessories, and space requirements. From the popular Trackman Golf Simulator to the portable Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor, there are many great simulators on the market. If you want to know more about golf simulators and golf in general, visit our site.